Kathua, July 4 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district is hoped to soon develop as a fishing hub in the country, as the State fisheries department is introducing trout farming here on a large scale.
It is hoped to result in more angling opportunities and benefiting tourism industry.
For this, the state fisheries department has set up a trout farm in the Bani block of the district.
Situated on the banks of River Sewa, the temperature and the nature of waters in Bani are ideal for fish-farming.
According to the government figures, the farm has produced about 4,000 kilograms of trout in the last two years.
"We want the government to extend this business and open more farms so that more tourists should visit the area and people earn money. The people here have also developed the taste for trout fish, and the demand for the fish has also increased. People have ignored the other local fish. Therefore, we will request the government to develop this business so that the tourists are also attracted," said Abdul Majid Bhat, a local resident.
The expansion of the farms is likely to influence employment opportunities for the youth in the region.
According to official sources, the government is investing around Rs 72 million in acquiring land to develop farms, and the target is to produce 40 tonnes of trout every year.
"In the coming days, the people of Bani will have a good perspective, they will have a lot of benefits. There will be opportunities from angling for trout, and tourism. The production that we are going to do, involves a lot of workforce. People are required in carrying, cleaning, etc., so people will be befitted a lot," said K. K. Khajuria, Deputy Director of the Fisheries Department.
Khajuria said that the aim is to meet the requirement of Jammu and Kashmir as well as the states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.
"This project has benefited a lot of people. It has also fulfilled people's requirement of fish. Trout is a foreign variety of fish. It was brought in Kashmir and now it has been cultivated here in Bani. The taste of the fish is very good," said Abdul Majid.
With increased fish-farming, angling opportunities are set to rise, which would attract a lot of tourists.
Currently, the government earns Rs. 1.5 million annually from the fish farms. (ANI)